April 18, 2014
Copper and oil fall, world equities drift
Copper futures dropped today on concerns over Chinese growth and as the US dollar strengthened, while crude oil extended recent losses and a global gauge of equities was little changed.
Stocks ticked higher on Wall Street after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the US central bank is committed to highly accommodative policy even as it has decided to trim its bond-buying stimulus.
European shares successfully battled a wave of risk aversion that swept across Asia, where stocks slid after a measure of activity in China's services sector slipped in December.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 74.82 points, or 0.46 percent, at 16,516.17.
The S&P 500 was up 4.75 points, or 0.26 percent, at 1,836.73.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 1.50 points, or 0.04 percent, at 4,141.57.
The benchmark FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.5 percent, and MSCI's index of equities in 45 countries was flat.
Three-month copper dropped 1.1 percent to $7,313.75 a tonne in its largest daily drop since Dec. 2.
Expectations for a rise in Libyan supply and speculation of a buildup in US stockpiles kept further pressure on oil prices after they tumbled Thursday.
US crude fell for a fourth consecutive day and hit a one-month low, and Brent dipped after posting its largest daily drop since late June.
US crude was recently down 1.3 percent at $94.19 a barrel and Brent fell 0.8 percent to $106.91.
Spot gold rose for a fourth session to hit a two-week high as weaker equities spurred demand for the metal as a safe-haven asset. It was recently up 0.9 percent at $1,235.71 per ounce.
The yen edged up from recent five-year lows against the US dollar.
The greenback last traded 0.1 percent lower against the yen, at 104.69 yen, down from a five-year high of 105.44 yen set Thursday.
The euro, the top-performing major currency of 2013, shed 0.6 percent to 142.33 yen, extending its losses in the wake of its more than 1 percent slide the previous day.
Against the US dollar, the euro lost 0.55 percent to $1.3595.
US Treasuries prices ticked down, with benchmark 10-year yields hovering near 3 percent, with no major economic releases due and investors cautious heading into a busy week that includes the release of December's payrolls report.